There are sometimes difficult reasons for having an abortion – fetal deformity, rape, incest, danger to the mother’s life or health. To find out whether these are the primary reasons for abortion, you must rely upon the research organizations which have actually performed the research and studies of women who have had abortions.
One of these organizations is the Guttmacher Institute. Wikipedia defines Guttmacher as a pro-choice research organization started in 1968 which was originally part of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the world.
In 2004 Guttmacher completed a survey of 1,209 abortion patients at 11 large abortion providers. Oftentimes there were multiple reasons. The results were as follows:
Most frequent reasons:
74% Having a child would interfere with education, work, or ability to care for dependents.
73% Could not afford a child.
48% Did not want to be a single mother or having relationship problems.
The conclusions reached by Guttmacher were:
The decision to have an abortion is typically motivated by multiple, diverse and interrelated reasons. The themes of responsibility to others and resource limitations, such as financial constraints and lack of partner support, recurred throughout the study.
Similarly, in a report published by the University of Massachusetts Medical News in 2004 on a study of 957 women having abortions the results revealed the following:
|Not ready for a(nother) child/Timing is wrong||25%|
|Can’t afford a baby now||23%|
|Have completed my childbearing/Have other people depending on me/Children are grown||19%|
|Don’t want to be a single mother or am having relationship problems||8%|
|Don’t feel mature enough to raise a(nother) child/Feel too young||7%|
|Would interfere with education or career plans||4%|
|Physical problem with my health||4%|
|Possible problems affecting the health of the fetus||3%|
The following categories were chosen by fewer than 0.5 percent of respondents and are not shown:
“Was a victim of rape”
“Husband or partner wants me to have an abortion”
“Parents want me to have an abortion”
“Don’t want people to know I had sex or got pregnant”
Clearly women need more support when they are faced with an unplanned pregnancy so abortion does not become their only option. This support is being offered by a number of nonprofit organizations today like Optionline.org but also needs to be increased by local, state, and federal governments.